While going on a leisurely walk in a Spring, Texas nature preserve, I heard the lovely call of the female barred owl. What I wasn't prepared for was the monkey-like sounds that came next. It seems that mated pairs emit "monkey calls".
Barred owls are found in treed swamps and old-growth forests. Their range includes the eastern United States to Minnesota and east Texas, up to Canada and across the Pacific northwest. They nest in tree cavities near water and at night they hunt rodents and other small animals.
Although they are still a common and widespread species, they have declined in areas of the south with the loss of swamp habitat. They generally lay between 2-3 white eggs and take around a month to hatch.
If you want to observe these beautiful birds of prey, try hiking quietly in nature preserves close to swamps, bayous, or coniferous forests at dawn or dusk. However, the best time to hear them, or perhaps see them, is at night. Often if you hear their calls and repeat it back to them, they will fly down closer to you for further inspection and answer your call. Don't forget to bring your binoculars and your camera! These gentle-faced owls don't disappoint with their 43 inch wing span and inquisitive demeanor.
About Crystal Poyfair